BRC: May footfall down on last year

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According to figures from the British Retail Consortium (BRC) and Springboard, footfall in May was 0.2% down on a year ago, marginally down on the 0.1% fall in April and below the three-month average of a 0.6% increase.

Footfall on the high street was 0.9% down on the previous year for May, up on April’s fall of 1.4%, while Out-of-Town reported the only rise, 3.3% higher than a year ago.

BRC director general Helen Dickinson (pictured) said: “This is the second successive month that footfall has eased back a touch, compared to the same period last year. However actual retail sales over the period have risen, which points to the continuing impact and popularity of online shopping, particularly in non-food categories. Many retailers are increasingly adept at harnessing the internet and multi-channel innovations to get through to consumers who might not have time to travel to the shops.”

She added: “As we saw with our retail sales data released earlier this month, purchases of bigger ticket items for revamping the home and garden performed well off the back of the continued pick up in the housing market, as did sales of televisions ahead of this summer’s sporting spectacles, primarily the World Cup and Commonwealth Games. Out of town shopping locations have continued to do well as a result, recording a further strong uptick in footfall.”

Springboard retail insights director Diane Wehrle commented: “The challenge faced by our retail destinations is continuing, with both a drop in footfall for a second month in a row, and an acceleration in the decline to 0.2 per cent from 0.1 per cent in April. However, the drop is a consequence of high streets and shopping centres losing out to retail parks which are benefiting from the inevitable lure of home products as house prices continue to rise. Indeed, retail parks have recorded increases in footfall in every month this year, which is levelling out at around 3% from last year.”

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